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July 30, 2010 / elodie kaye

Going Back for More

Yesterday, I ran my second tempo.  Where the first was an adrenaline-drenched thing of beauty, this one was a warty, green toad.  I made it ugly, because I did it wrong.  Even when my body rewards me by adapting to the challenges I subject it to, I should know better than to take it for granted.  Confused by extra rest and cool temperatures, my first mile was too fast and I paid out for it over the next nineteen, endless minutes, greener with every passing one.  Yes, I lost all my Gatorade, but I held it down until I was finished!

The splits tell the dismal story, five or six seconds slower on each mile against a frantic, rising heartbeat.  Even when tempo hates me like that, it’s good, perhaps the ultimate sign of a dysfunctional relationship.  Though I pathetically clung on, I carved off 1:36 over 3 miles compared to the last time.  I won’t be drinking Tropical Punch Gatorade again soon, but I can’t stop thinking about when tempo and I get to do it again.



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  1. Anne / Jul 31 2010 7:16 pm

    I’ve had those warty, green toad tempo runs too. And I’m glad I’m not the only one who cannot seem to stomach certain flavors of Gatorade. (Actually, the best ERG I’ve had – and I keep in large supply at home – is now called Hydrolyte (formerly Vitalyte and before that Gookinaid). Low sugar. Originally made to cure hangovers and dehydration from flus…works really well for me – even the fruit punch flavor.)

  2. elodiekaye / Aug 1 2010 12:01 pm

    lol, Gookinaid?! They should have kept that name! 🙂 I tolerate most drinks well, even Gatorade, but once every few hundred runs, some unlucky combination of heat and/or hard running brings it all up. My only reason for using it now is because it’s being offered at all my fall races. When I’m not racing, I make my own iced tea, or lime-, lemon-, or orange-ade with a bit of salt.

  3. bit101 / Aug 4 2010 3:19 pm

    My tempo run was almost as bad today. Needed a few walk breaks. One because my stomach was seriously cramping up. It wasn’t full of gatorade, but had it been, it might not have been for long.

  4. elodiekaye / Aug 4 2010 3:48 pm

    For me, the first sign that I’m going too fast is a slight heaviness in my quads. If I keep going, it builds up until I’m wearing concrete waders, but if I take a little off it’s possible to recover on the run. In fact, you’ll surprise yourself how fast you can go while recovering. I couldn’t do it on this tempo because I overshot by too big a margin (9:18 v. 9:35), way too early. but that’s basically the whole tempo game in a nutshell. Get close to your threshold pace in the early going (but be sure you’re under it), then push until you sense that ragged edge. Back off. Push again, back off. You’ll figure out your own body’s early signals, and over time you’ll be able to feel when you’re within just 15s of the pace you need.

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